The relationship between “sacred (Islamic) law” and “secular law” is a crucial issue in modern Muslim societies. Understanding how such relationship works is an essential condition to assess the evolution of the system of rights, as well as of the very idea of citizenship, in those societies. Generally speaking, Muslim countries seem to be in search for some kind of balance between ‘human rights’ and ‘divine law’. In spite of some remarkable differences from one country to another, in fact, reference to Islamic law principles seems to be the common denominator in legal and institutional organization of all countries where Muslims are majority. Is such reference to ‘divine legislation’ really compatible with the modern concept of the rule of law? And how is it possible to harmonize traditional Shari’a discriminatory views of non-Muslims with the idea of the equality of citizens? As a matter of fact, different solutions have been experienced in different times, according and to changing political, social and cultural conditions. Also, far from being a "monolithic" and immutable set of rules, shari‘a itself is indeed a complex historical reality, a product of a century-old “plural” process that has left its marks in the coexistence of different legal schools, and that, in principle, has never completely stopped. Far from providing any « global » answer to so complex an issue as the relationship between ‘sacred’ and ‘secular’ law in Islamic countries, this paper focuses on a single country (Egypt) and on a single religious community: the Coptic Christians, by far the largest religious minority in the country, estimated at about 10% of the population. The juridical and sociopolitical ‘status’ of this community is analyzed on the background of their history as well as of the relationships between shari'a and secular law in contemporary Egypt. In this framework, the main phases of the relationship between Coptic Church and political power are evoked, since XIXth-century reforms affecting the traditional principles of dhimma, up to present times, as well as the inner renovation process of Coptic community, which started in the Sixties ‘from below’ and was then fostered ‘from the top’ by the late Pope Shenouda III (r. 1971-2012).

Tolleranza o cittadinanza? La situazione dei Copti e il ruolo della shari'a nell'evoluzione del sistema dei diritti in Egitto / Giuseppe Cecere; Maria Laura D'Onofrio. - In: ANNUARIO DIRECOM. - ISSN 1660-4032. - STAMPA. - VIII:(2009), pp. 117-158.

Tolleranza o cittadinanza? La situazione dei Copti e il ruolo della shari'a nell'evoluzione del sistema dei diritti in Egitto

CECERE, GIUSEPPE;
2009

Abstract

The relationship between “sacred (Islamic) law” and “secular law” is a crucial issue in modern Muslim societies. Understanding how such relationship works is an essential condition to assess the evolution of the system of rights, as well as of the very idea of citizenship, in those societies. Generally speaking, Muslim countries seem to be in search for some kind of balance between ‘human rights’ and ‘divine law’. In spite of some remarkable differences from one country to another, in fact, reference to Islamic law principles seems to be the common denominator in legal and institutional organization of all countries where Muslims are majority. Is such reference to ‘divine legislation’ really compatible with the modern concept of the rule of law? And how is it possible to harmonize traditional Shari’a discriminatory views of non-Muslims with the idea of the equality of citizens? As a matter of fact, different solutions have been experienced in different times, according and to changing political, social and cultural conditions. Also, far from being a "monolithic" and immutable set of rules, shari‘a itself is indeed a complex historical reality, a product of a century-old “plural” process that has left its marks in the coexistence of different legal schools, and that, in principle, has never completely stopped. Far from providing any « global » answer to so complex an issue as the relationship between ‘sacred’ and ‘secular’ law in Islamic countries, this paper focuses on a single country (Egypt) and on a single religious community: the Coptic Christians, by far the largest religious minority in the country, estimated at about 10% of the population. The juridical and sociopolitical ‘status’ of this community is analyzed on the background of their history as well as of the relationships between shari'a and secular law in contemporary Egypt. In this framework, the main phases of the relationship between Coptic Church and political power are evoked, since XIXth-century reforms affecting the traditional principles of dhimma, up to present times, as well as the inner renovation process of Coptic community, which started in the Sixties ‘from below’ and was then fostered ‘from the top’ by the late Pope Shenouda III (r. 1971-2012).
2009
Tolleranza o cittadinanza? La situazione dei Copti e il ruolo della shari'a nell'evoluzione del sistema dei diritti in Egitto / Giuseppe Cecere; Maria Laura D'Onofrio. - In: ANNUARIO DIRECOM. - ISSN 1660-4032. - STAMPA. - VIII:(2009), pp. 117-158.
Giuseppe Cecere; Maria Laura D'Onofrio
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/400081
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